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Message from our Churches Together Sunrise Service

18 April 2022

Easter Day 2022.

Jesus is risen. Hallelujah.

We have just watched the magnificent sunrise. A new day has dawned.

Dawn on that first Easter day also heralded a new day.  A new era.  The possibility of everything being new.  The possibility of the old being left behind in yesterday.

On Friday, Jesus went to the cross burdened with sin, weighed down under the load he carried.  He was held captive and crucified because of our failings.  At the end of that day he was wrapped up tightly in grave clothes and imprisoned in a dark tomb.

 

I wonder what holds each of us captive.

I wonder what burden weighs each of us down.

What is it that restrains us?

And what is it that restrains our churches?

 

On Easter Day, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus broke the chains, He came out of the darkness.  His wounds were healed.  He was free.  He rose to live a new life.

And that is what Easter is all about.  The joy of Easter Day is only possible because of Good Friday.  Jesus wants us to be free as He is.  He has carried our burdens, He has felt our pain, He has been imprisoned for us.

And now He says to each of us,

 "Put down your burdens, Let go your sin, let Me heal your wounds. I want you to enjoy this new day in freedom."

Do we have the humility to receive all that He wants to give us? 

Can we allow Him to pick us up and tend our wounds and unwind our grave clothes? 

Can we allow Him to take off our shackles and lead us out of whatever is our personal darkness?


 

So, for a moment, we are going to pause.  And in the pause bring to mind the things you would like to be free of.  It might be guilt, or unforgiveness, or a belief about ourselves or about a situation which binds us.  It might be a painful memory or a regret.

What is Jesus saying to you? 

What do you want to say to Him?

Now in your mind’s eye walk to the Cross with it, put it down, and walk away without it.

And as you walk, what is Jesus saying to you?


 

And now as we watch the sun rise higher in the sky can you receive from Jesus whatever He wants to give you today.

Let’s pause again. 

What do you want to say to Him at this start of a new day? 

And what is He saying to you?

What doe He want to give to you today?

And let's think of the Churches we represent.

What are the things of the past which need to be left behind and what new things need to be picked up? 

Can we pray this on behalf of the church we represent this morning?

 

On that first Easter Day, I wonder what those women felt as they walked to Jesus’ tomb.  But when they arrived, what happened surprised them, amazed them, and turned their lives around.  And when Peter and John came they too were surprised, and their lives were never the same again.

 

So, today, this New Day, this New Season, can we allow ourselves to be surprised by Jesus? 

Not just at this moment but live with an expectation that God so often works outside of our norms?

Dare we be courageous enough to walk into this new day, in the freedom which He wants for us; not just today but the rest of our lives?

 

Let’s pray for the grace to do that , let’s pray for ourselves for each other and for the churches in Swanage.

 

Written and shared by Margaret Williams of Swanage Churches Together

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